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Why Do We Hate People Who Are Single and Unmarried?

Updated on May 13, 2016

Unmarried or Single at 30

Society may be shifting their perception on the unmarried folk, but negative connotations of not getting married still exist.

These negative unmarried or single stereotypes are as follows:

  • Committing sin or being seen as immoral
  • Portrayed as selfish and immature
  • Viewed as unsuccessful, lazy, and a failure
  • Won't make a good parent if children are involved
  • Everyone (including family) looks down on you in disappointment

Some of those stigmas are closer to reality than one might think.

Depending on where you came from and your religious background, being unmarried may be viewed as being a complete failure. It's hard to shake old school tradition and values because that's all previous generations know.

Older generations don't understand how newer generations like Millennials think, and they view their unmarried lifestyle as a hindrance because it goes against tradition.

These stigmas will continue to exist because people are either stubborn or refuse to deal with change.

Marriage Problems


The Focus on Religion

The religion factor is one of the strongest tie-ins when it comes to the married versus the unmarried, and where you live is significant.

Those living in first world countries are fortunate to live in such free nations because many countries do not give us a choice whether to marry or not.

Arranged marriages and giving away the daughter still exists in numerous locations.

Women have it very rough overall because expectations regarding marriage are very unfair. An unmarried woman in her 40's, 50's, and beyond is viewed with skepticism as to whether she is a decent or stable person (aka cat lady).

We're not going to tell that to her face, but it'll get talked about behind closed doors. It's our way of judging people we don't know in order to place them in our preconceived box.

The stigmas of being unsuccessful, a failure, lazy, selfish, and immature creep up when we think of the unmarried.

It's not necessarily our fault for thinking that way but rather society's implications of how we should go about a standard, traditional life. You know it's that whole concept of school, work, marriage, and kids that we're all "supposed" to follow.

God forbid someone goes against the norm.

Wedding Invitations

Wedding vs. Marriage

People struggle to differentiate a wedding from a marriage.

Ever heard the cliche that every little girl dreams about her wedding day. Well what about dreaming about her marriage.

Did someone forget to include what 99.99% of married life was?

Those who want to experience the married life often forget that it's never about that one day of vows, dresses, suits, cakes, and festivities.

Real married life is about everything that comes after. I believe societal expectations are also way too caught up with the idea of a wedding over an "actual marriage".

Celebrity and reality TV weddings have become spectacles that go beyond the meaning of the event.

Instead they focus on the most expensive gown, the most elaborate location, the biggest guest list, and everything else in excess. It's never about the relationship between the bride and groom but rather the background noise surrounding them.

Why should I care so much about getting married when most of the attention is focused on "one day"?

There's such hypocrisy between what people expect and what they really focus on. So if we include those negative connotations about never marrying, then are they mostly negative because there was no wedding?

I guess everything is okay as long as the couple experiences a nice wedding reception despite being in an unhealthy and unhappy marriage.

The main focus of marriage should be what the focus of a long term relationship is on.

How exactly can one only be seen as moral and righteous if they're married. Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm certain married people commit immoral acts from time to time, and their immorality while married are more consequential than those that didn't tie the knot.

Signing a piece of paper and having a big wedding doesn't mean that your troubles are over.

Whatever values existed between the couple before the marriage should continue after and if things didn't go well before marriage, then what makes you think they'll get better after marriage.

You still have to be committed, loving, and respectful to your significant other whether or not you're married. When you look at the scope of values in relationships, then some of those negative stigmas for the unmarried do not make sense.

The Family Feud

Family Matters

It might be easy to tell someone who doesn't want to get married that they don't have to. I mean sure no one has to go along with societal expectations, but that doesn't mean you won't have outside influences controlling your destiny.

Your family may not understand why you don't want to get married.

They may not get it because a lot of your family members grew up with traditional values, and tradition dictates that once you hit a certain age that you must find someone and get married.

Even board games made this fact of life pretty clear...

In the original Game of Life you can't proceed further without getting hitched and the same goes for having children. How crazy is it that a board game forces you to get married and have kids, and there's no way to get out of it!

In a familial setting, the same "I can't escape mentality" sets in.

You're going against decades of tradition among a religious backdrop that's set on making marriage the ultimate prize.

Your rejection of said tradition could result in dire consequences.

It's not out of the question that your family could disown you if you tell them you don't want to get married, and such a scenario can still occur even in a free country like the U.S.

A lot of those negatives stigmas mentioned earlier revolve around your family.

In fact all those negative feelings of disappointment and failure could stem from the people closest to you like your parents. It's an awful combination of familial and societal pressures that are dead set on marriage whether you like it or not.

Divorce Statistics


Divorce Rates Don't Matter

The divorce rate should not be a factor when it comes to staying single/couples relationship verse marriage.

If we focus on the relationship in a divorce, then the concept is similar to a break-up.

People break up with others multiple times in their lives and a divorce, at its root, is a break up. They either don't want to stay together anymore because they've fallen out of love, are interested in other people, or want something more out of life.

The real reason why you denounce marriage should be belief not statistically driven.

We know that many people don't get married because they love one another. A lot of people get married because they want financial stability or legalization, which completely crushes decades of tradition or expectations.

For most marriage is a signed and notarized piece of paper, and your choice to get married has a lot to do with whether you agree to the legality of that paper.

Are you willing to accept the consequences when things go south?

Choosing to avoid marriage is not about selfishness but whether you are willing to give up a lot because of what you believe in.

Marriage at First Sight


Why You Should Get Married?

I'm not against those who want to marry because it can be a wonderful thing.

Here's a list on why you should get married:

  • In love with the person and oblige to a signed contract emphasizing commitment
  • Strong belief in the religious aspects of getting married
  • You choose to follow tradition on your own regard rather than outside influence
  • Your focus is on the relationship within the marriage and not just the wedding
  • A desire to commit to your children through marriage with the children's mother/father

The most important factor in all of this is you. It's your choice whether you want to become married, and it should always come down to you.

You shouldn't get married if there's cultural or familial pressure, however; there's an asterisk on this statement.

Unfortunately not all of us are lucky enough to say no and expect everyone to be okay with it. The truth is that it's not always an option and you may be forced into it. There's not much I can say about this but to wish you hope that one day everything will be okay.

Things are not always fair but it'll change someday.

We've already changed so much as short as 20 years ago and we'll continue to change. We can't lose the battle to what society expects us to do otherwise we'll be a bunch of lifeless drones.

Our choice is our power and eventually it'll be strong enough to overcome any preconceived expectations.


How Much Does Society Influence You?

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    • Maria Cecilia profile image

      Maria Cecilia 2 weeks ago from Philippines

      nice article, same sentiments, as if marriage is a supreme accomplishment in this lifetime. why some married people found themselves always in a better place than those of singles. I realized the fear of solitude when I encountered people who can't believe I lasted living alone. there is some article too that said get married and don't think of preparing for the future, you can do that while you're children are growing, I hate that article coz it will make people envy the married people and the single to regret that they are single. and there's this song at seventeen that mentioned about highschool girls with clear skin smiles who married young and then if marrying are just for pretty people. sorry about this rant... I just experienced enough...people asking me why I am not married that my dogs can't take care of me. I believe God is there to also watch over the single.

    • NonCopyBook profile image

      Nicholas Daly 3 years ago from NSW Australia

      Yeah I heard about the "lack of passion" (shall we say) happening in Japan, and how there are tens of millions of bachelors... Fascinating and a little worrying to watch (but yeah who's to say what's right, you can't force feelings or for that matter marriages).

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 3 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Excellent arguments and I completely agree about not having the right priorities when it comes to marriage. Also people who are highly religious sometimes only point to that when it comes to marriage instead of what it's really about. If that's what you're born into then I understand, but people become very intolerant of other ways of thinking sometimes, which by the way is not what religion is about.

      I know in Japan the population is expected to decline because of less marriages and familial life, which could be considered an extreme case where it affects the entire country's population. Some might say that those consequences are disastrous but others who believe in the eventual population collapse in a next few decades see it as an opportunity.

      Of course having a family doesn't have to correlate with marriage, but that's still generally the case today.

    • NonCopyBook profile image

      Nicholas Daly 3 years ago from NSW Australia

      Family and society (though some have objected to terms or general statements above) are always going to be pressures... Here in Australia religion is not a factor but gatherings and interactions with family and friends are. Even though I don't feel all that lonely, when alone my mind is thinking (especially on a Friday night) that I should meet a special someone and not be alone and I must confess to it being largely socially determined (given that, like a lot of men, I am happy with (positive) non-serious liaisons). Perhaps given the lack of religion, most people I know (between 20-40) aren't getting married anymore but live out their relationships de facto, but that has become the equivalent of marriage.

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 3 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      Exactly. It's completely illogical that a same sex couple that has been together for forty years cannot marry but a man can get a "mail order bride" and marry her to trade sex for citizenship. The people against marriage equality have weird priorities, with their focus on sex and breeding rather than on love and commitment. People who respect marriage by treating it as a union of love and commitment rather than as a celebration of heterosexual sex get shut down so hard they can't even be there to comfort dying beloveds in states where only people with opposite genitals are allowed to marry.

      I see love rather than sex as sacred. My partner of eight years is male but it doesn't blind me to the gross illogic that says we could marry and don't even have to marry for him to be in my hospital room while other loving couples with the "wrong" parts cannot marry or comfort each other in such times of need.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 3 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      It is interesting that you mentioned that considering the political battles over who has the right to marry. If everybody did it for the right reasons, then I would be fine with that but people are allowed to marry due to ulterior motives yet those who respect marriage get shut down. It makes me question our culture's logic even more.

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 3 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      The way I view it is that there's nothing special about marriage if it's denied to many loving, committed couples who wish for it and abused by many unloving couples who marry for reasons of power, control, reproduction without love, camouflage, or social acceptance.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 3 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Great to receive such feedback. I haven't found my niche yet, so I'm just writing about things that may bring about some interest.

      Also it would be a very dull world if everyone thought the same. Thank you again.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 3 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      She chose to rule without the assistance of a man and that was centuries ago, talk about being rebellious.

      I respect couples who make either choice as long it's for the right reasons. People who marry to test the system are at the bottom of my list.

    • profile image

      Stargrrl 3 years ago

      Queen Elizabeth never married. She was neither lazy nor immature, and I wouldn't have called her selfish, either.

      I will only marry IF I find the love of my life. Otherwise, oh well.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 3 years ago from https:// online/ hubpages. html

      Chris, btw Paula is right, you are a nice asset to this Community, I like your writing style and attention to visuals, though you and I may look at these subjects from different perspectives. I am amazed at the diversity of topics in your hub pages in just two months and your presentations of them. Bravo.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 3 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Thanks for the stats as they do signify changing trends in our culture. I'm aware that younger generations don't care as much about marriage as older generations and they cohabit more than ever. In fact I feel most couples should do that before making any further steps toward legalizing their commitment. My focus is still on the negative stigma especially from the older crowd and like you said married couples who make question your motives. There also remain cultural differences according to your background where marriage is still critical. As things continue to change it won't make a difference like it used to, and it may also be the reason why gay marriage is becoming favored. As our perceptions of marriage change, they no longer become exclusive and less people care about you or if you become married. In the coming decades it will only become a legal issue that you may or may not follow up on.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Chris...another interesting read. You're doing a wonderful job here as a newbie! You GO! Your hubs are all well-written and enjoyable to read.

      I agree with dashing...."You are not your marital status."....with Will when he says a woman should not deprive a child of his/her father, regardless of the status.....w/ lawdoc..when she emphasizes is matters most WHO we marry....w/ Colleen bristling at the phrase, "Get a man"!! Oh PLEASE!! and w/ tsad who wonders why anyone would be bothered by what "society" says? (I try NOT to listen to society on much of anything!)........about 20 years ago, I may have thought a bit like NY bride (which would have made me the same age she is now~~interesting?) and peachpurple...LOL...Is your mother-in-law still pushing her 50 YEAR OLD son to marry, perhaps because he's still living with Mama??? LOL My advice would be , "Give it up Mom, it's too late, you've spoiled him!)!" All great comments!...UP+++

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 3 years ago from https:// online/ hubpages. html

      "Stop it society" ? as if "society," whatever that means because a case could be made today that "society" doesn't care if you're married or not, probably is more in favor of not marrying as that seems to be the current trend.

      The number of cohabiting unmarried partners increased tenfold between 1960 and 2000. – U.S. Census Bureau. “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2000.”

      The number of cohabiting unmarried partners increased by 88% between 1990 and 2007. – U.S. Census Bureau. “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2007.”

      The majority of couples marrying today cohabited first.

      In a 1995 Harris poll, 90% of people believed society “should value all types of families.” – Stephanie Coontz. 1997. The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms With America’s Changing Families.

      43% of Americans in their twenties believe that cohabiting couples should receive the same benefits as married couples. – Gallup. 2001.

      45% of Americans in their twenties believe that government should not be involved in licensing marriage. – Gallup. 2001.

      55% of Americans approve of men and women living together without being married. – Gallup. 2007.

      By "society" I can only think that you mean people who are married in which case I ask you is it because married people simply wish to stigmatize people or is it because they know marriage is proven to be the healthiest relationship for a family and they only wish the best for others who are not married.

      In the end, if anyone is convicted that not marrying is the right thing for him/her why should he/she be bothered by or even care what the perception of "society" is, unless of course his/her conviction is questionable in their own mind.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 3 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      That's awful how could someone tell you to basically abandon your own opinions just to be with a man. Relatives can be very fickle at times and they may not have a clue how things are supposed to work. I'm happy you found the right person who relates to you and it's nice to meet a fellow Rutgers grad.

    • Colleen Swan profile image

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Hi Chris, I too went to Rutgers, gaining a law degree, so you and I are in the same general field. Though delightfully married now, for a few years I felt contented to be by myself. One relative would not stop telling me the reason I couldn't "get a man" awful term, was not because I was unattractive, but because of my dreadful habit of stating my own opinions. Men, she maintained want a woman who agrees with them all the time and tells them they're right. Lord help me, I not only had to get married, but it would be to a man who expected a walking echo chamber. Luckily I found a man who enjoys my spirit just as I do his.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 3 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      There's certainly a generation gap regarding that seems to be growing. It's tradition versus new age thinking and neither are necessarily incorrect. Best of luck to you and wish you the best.

    • nybride710 profile image

      Lisa Kroulik 3 years ago from Minnesota

      I am about to turn 47 and do struggle to understand the millennial attitude towards marriage. That being said, I am in my second marriage going on 5 years now. My first one failed after 13 years. Just living together is not for me, but I understand the generations after me feel different. Others may choose not to have a serious relationship at all, which is of course their personal choice and no one should pressure them about it.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 3 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Thank you so much. I was never against marriage because it can be a really special type of love. I disliked the idea of people telling you what you can and can't do. I understand how family and marriage mend together, but it's just as tragic when parents stay married only for the children. We all have our own pathways in life and I'm very tolerate of what they choose to do as long as it's safe, legal, and healthy.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 3 years ago from New York, NY

      Really good hub, Chris. Marriage can mean different things to different people individually. No one should ever be pressured into getting married as it is a deeply-personal decision. At its very basic level, marriage is an agreement between two consenting adults to live there lives as one, to care for and support one another, to define the union as a family, and to have that union respected by others and the State.

      I've always said, it doesn't matter when or if you get married; what matters is WHO you marry.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 3 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      I get why there's a press to get married the older you get, but it's still not up to them. People have managed to not get married and stay together for decades and people that get married end it in months sometimes or less. The reverse is true but marriage doesn't equal happiness either.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      my brother in law doesn't want to get married but my mother in law is pressing him. He is going to be 50 soon. Weird, isn't it

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 3 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Marriage is used by some to protect themselves and help their children. There are definitely legal benefits that marriage can provide. People get married to get into the country, so they abuse the concept for their own needs.

      Agreed society is not the ruler of marital status and they do not define who we are or want to become.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 3 years ago

      I agree and a vow is more of a serious promise , so we should not allow society even family to force us into something we can not carry out from the heart, even if it is the other person involved with the choice or decisions of marriage. Notice who is taking note of your vow

      Reference Bible Ec 5:6 Do not allow your mouth to cause your flesh to sin, neither say before the angel that it was a mistake. Why should the [true] God become indignant on account of your voice and have to wreck the work of your hands?

      Yes an Angel of God!

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Marriage is a legal contract protecting both parties, and certainly has its place in society. Women who have babies outside of wedlock are almost always doomed to poverty, and so are their children.

      If a woman does not want to marry, that's fine with me, as long as they do not deprive their children of their father. That's horribly unfair.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 3 years ago

      All marriages will have their share of challenges but at the very least a marriage should only take place if (both people) want to get married.

      No one is "required" to get married!

      You are not your "marital status"!

      No one should have to explain or defend their reasons for not wanting to get married other than to say; "I'm happy being single!"

      Blaming society for one's own decisions is a cop out!

      Life is a (personal) journey.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 3 years ago

      Reference Bible Ge 2:22 And Jehovah God proceeded to build the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman and to bring her to the man.

      Reference Bible Ge 2:24 That is why a man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh.

      Ge 1:28 Further, God blessed them and God said to them: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.”

      The first marriage

      They were to be fruitful fill the earth with people like themselves, it was only then that Adam was bless to populate the earth.

      Sex was a benefit of the marriage. A gift.

      Reference Bible 1Co 7:36 But if anyone thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virginity, if that is past the bloom of youth, and this is the way it should take place, let him do what he wants; he does not sin. Let them marry.

      Outside the marriage is a sin under the Hebrew name pornea, Unclean sexual acts.

      Or fornication or Adultery ,

      1Co 7:28 But even if you did marry, you would commit no sin. And if a virgin married, such a person would commit no sin. However, those who do will have tribulation in their flesh. But I am trying to spare you.

      Marriage is more then saying I do , it is a commitment and vow by God for life. Until death depart you.

      Something to think about ,not the way the world analyze it.


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